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Report on the inspection of documents and on the meeting of the European Ombudsman inquiry team with the European Investment Bank’s representatives

Case title: How the European Investment Bank (EIB) handled the move of a former Vice-President to an energy utilities company that had received EIB loans

Date: Friday, 18 March 2022

Remote inspection arrangements

Webex call from 14:00 to 15:45

Present

EIB representatives:

· Head of division, General Secretariat (SG):

· Head of unit, General Secretariat (SG):

· Head of division, Group Risk & Compliance Directorate (GR&C)

· Deputy head of division, head of unit, GR&C

· Senior loan officer, Operations Directorate (Ops):

· Head of division, Legal Directorate (JU):

· Senior counsel, JU

· Counsel, JU

· Head of division, Inspectorate General / Complaints Mechanism Division (as EIB service responsible for EO cases): and

· Senior complaints officer, Inspectorate General / Complaints Mechanism Division

EO representatives:

· Ms Jennifer King, Legal expert

· Ms Ángela Marcos Figueruelo, inquiries officer

· Ms Leticia Díez Sánchez, inquiries officer

· Mr Koen Roovers, inquiries officer

Purpose of the meeting

The purpose of the meeting was to clarify certain matters related to the inspection of documents, as requested by the Ombudsman in her letter of 23 June 2021,[1] and for the EIB to present the 2021 changes to the EIB’s code of conduct of the Management Committee (MC Code of Conduct)[2].

Introduction and procedural information

The Ombudsman inquiry team introduced themselves, thanked the EIB’s representatives (EIB) for meeting with them and set out the purpose of the meeting.

The Ombudsman inquiry team informed the EIB that it would draw up an inspection meeting report, and that the draft would be shared with the EIB for review to confirm its factual accuracy. The report would then be finalised and provided to the complainants for possible comments. The inquiry team also mentioned that the Ombudsman would not divulge any information to the complainant, third parties or the public that the EIB considered confidential.

The inquiry team gave a brief presentation of the Ombudsman’s mandate and powers, at the request of the EIB.

Documents inspected 

Prior to the meeting, the Ombudsman inquiry team inspected the documents that the EIB identified as falling within the scope of the Ombudsman’s request, that is any documents related to:

• The EIB's decision to approve, with conditions, the post-mandate activity of the former VP, as well as;

• Documents concerning the financing agreements that the EIB agreed with Iberdrola during the mandate of the former VP.

Information exchanged

The EIB presented the 2021 changes to the MC Code of conduct[3]. The EIB shared a version of the presentation that it agreed can be made public in the context of the ongoing inquiry.

The EIB provided answers to the Ombudsman’s questions that were shared before the meeting. As these answers contain details that the EIB considers to be confidential, a summary of the replies is provided in the annex to this report that the Ombudsman has agreed to treat confidentially at this stage.

Follow-up

The EIB agreed to follow-up with clarifications as regards a limited number of questions that were discussed during the meeting.

 

Brussels, 5.4.2022

Koen Roovers                                                                             Ángela Marcos Figueruelo

Inquiries officer                                                                           Inquiries officer



Enclosure (pdf document attached):

· Code of Conduct of the Management Committee - ECC Operating Rules (Presentation of the revised documents to the EO Team, 18 March 2022)

 

[1] Letter from the European Ombudsman to the European Investment Bank (EIB) on how the EIB handled its former Vice-President’s post-employment application to take a senior position at a Spanish company that had received EIB loans: https://www.ombudsman.europa.eu/en/doc/correspondence/en/143451

[2] See: https://www.eib.org/attachments/publications/code_of_conduct_mc_en.pdf (updated version adopted in August 2021).

[3] See footnote 1.